Jan Gambino Jan Gambino's Blog

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Reflux Moms out there! If you have a baby with Gastroesophageal Reflux, I know you are too busy keeping your little one fed, soothed and in clean clothes to really enjoy a day to rest and reflect. I can assure you that in time, the storm clouds of reflux will pass and your days and nights will get easier.

Being a Reflux Mom means you have to work twice as hard as the average mom. You have extra steps and chores to fill your already crammed schedule. It takes you 30 minutes to feed your baby 4 ounces and yet the baby next door can drink 6 ounces in half the time. The mama next door puts the baby in the swing while you hold your baby upright like she is a piece of fine china for 30 minutes and she still urps up half of the meal. After you finish the long day shift, there is still the night shift. The days all blend together until you wake up one morning and someone wishes you a cheerful, “Happy Mother’s Day!” You might be grumpy and mumble under your breath, “It‘s just another day, every day is the same!”. But the reflux has changed you and has shaped the kind of mother you have become.

You are a Reflux Mom so…

      You can read your baby like a book. Every whimper or grunt has meaning and you spring into action. You don’t need to talk to communicate with each other.
      You are in tune with your baby. Your senses are on high guard. While daddy and the dog snooze through the nightshift, you awaken at the first yelp and are by her side in an instant.
      You have more patience, well maybe not all of the time! But certainly more patience than most parents from the daily intensive care giving necessary to keep your baby fed and healthy.
      You have overcome obstacles and challenges to care for your little one and help her grow and thrive. That has changed the way your view the world and puts other challenges into perspective.
      You have learned how to live in the present tense and enjoy the moment you are in.
      You have become the ultimate Mama Lion. You know the saying, “Don’t mess with the mama lion”. You stand strong and fierce as an advocate for your child.
      You experience a level of love and concern that you didn’t think was possible.

Never in a million years did I imagine that I would become a Reflux Mom. I was just going along, minding my own business when I found myself with a very beautiful little girl with a not so pretty digestive system. It took all of my energy and concentration to find the right treatments and care for her day and night. We shared a great deal of time together. As an infant, I held her almost constantly and nursed her for months after I had weaned my other children. The treatments and illnesses caused us to spend a great deal of time together. I am sure we read just about every book in the children’s section of the public library and I cannot tell you how many games of Junior Monopoly I lost after her surgery. Yet the extra time spent together is something that I will always cherish and I think it has deepened our relationship. I recently read an article in the Washington Post about Patty Shelly, a lactation specialist who encourages her moms by saying, “…remember, you build her from scratch”. While the other babies (you know, the ones without reflux!) seem to raise themselves from birth, you have been working hard to help your baby grow and thrive. So stand proud and give yourself a pat on the back for enduring the extra work and certainly take credit for how well your baby is doing.

Happy Mother’s Day!


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